In Wild Rose Country, Curious cats are spoiled for choice, but few places are as informative as Fort Vermillion – the oldest settlement in Alberta.

Located less than an hour from High Level, the hamlet was established in 1788 as a post for the North West Company, which was located on the banks of the Peace River.

Recent Posts:
This Alberta hiking trail offers scenic views of the Bow Valley and town of Banff
“A must-visit in the winter”: This 3.4 km trail in Alberta leads to a breathtaking frozen waterfall

Photo via Mackenzie Frontier Tourist Association / Facebook

Named after the red ochre deposits found along the riverbanks, this particular destination is rich in history and still features several buildings that are well over 100 years old.

According to the town’s website, the Beaver and Cree Nations were the first to occupy the area, then shortly after the fur traders first came, they set up the first post.

“In 1821 Fort Vermilion was taken over by the Hudson’s Bay Company and about 10 years later, the post was moved to the present location of Fort Vermilion,” they explain.

Photo via Mackenzie Frontier Tourist Association / Facebook

“The old Bay House was built in 1906 near Fort Vermilion near the riverbank. It was where the Chief Factor lived. He was the one who organized the operations of the company. In 1907 Fort Vermilion Experimental Farm was established and moved to its current site in 1935.”

Since then, the town has celebrated a bicentennial and was even designated a national historic site. 

Want to see it for yourself? Pack some road snacks, because it’s nearly a 7 hour drive from Edmonton.

Photo via Mackenzie Frontier Tourist Association / Facebook

Our advice? If you are going to visit check it out in July or August when the town holds its big Rodeo, a Canada Day celebration and a country fair. And don’t forget to visit the heritage centre, the golf course or take in the view.

There’s really no place quite like it.

Fort Vermilion, Alberta 

Where: Directions here